Sunday, 18 May 2014

Reliving a nightmare - The Hindu

Reliving a nightmare - The Hindu

There’s not much 13-year-old Manju remembers about the night of March 23. She knows she and three other girls were abducted from their village of Bhagana in Haryana’s Hisar district. She knows they were drugged and raped. She knows what her body remembers, the weight of one man after another on top of her. And the pain she woke up to the next morning.
Unka wazan yaad hai,” says Manju. “Thoda thoda hosh toh tha tab tak. (I remember their weight. I was conscious for a while.)”
Manju, Reema (17), Asha (17), Rajni (18), are Dalit girls of the Dhanuk sub-caste. On the evening of March 23, they had gone to a field near their homes to urinate. They were set upon by five men from the dominant Jat caste, drugged, gang raped in the fields and carried off in a car. They were found outside Bhatinda’s railway station across the border in Punjab the next morning. Though an FIR was filed under the Prevention of Atrocities (SC/ST) Act, the five men — Lalit, Sumit, Sandeep, Parimal, Dharamvir — were arrested on April 29, and the case is being fought in the Hisar District court by lawyer Ramniwas Sharma. Things are murkier than they appear to be, as is often the case in caste-ridden Haryana.Reliving a nightmare - The Hindu